Brown County – Annexation

The town of Nashville had/has a policy that linked annexation with sewer service.  The Brown County Regional Sewer District (RSD) has expressed an intent to forcibly connect as many properties as possible to a sewer system in the county.

This could be more easily accomplished if BCRSD could consolidate the different RSDs. RSDs existing in Helmsburg and Gnaw Bone. The Town of Nashville also has a treatment plant as has been ceded some extra territory by the BCRSD.

ANNEXATION

Basic issues:

It is a legislative process. Town Board has to approve the annexation ordinance.   There is a contiguity requirement—defines what areas Town can annex.  This is a certain segment of the boundary of the proposed annexation area must be contiguous with existing town limits.  Town must adopt a fiscal plan that analyzes government services and how they will be provided in the annexed area.

Need to clearly identify the area proposed for annexation.  There are rules that apply based on the area—size, state of development, location vis a vis the town.

This is the primary statute on the details  required to support annexation:

Sec. 13. (a) Except as provided in subsection (e), at the hearing under section 12 of this chapter, the court shall order a proposed annexation to take place if the following requirements are met:

(1) The requirements of either subsection (b) or (c).

(2) The requirements of subsection (d).

(3) The requirements of subsection (i).

(b) The requirements of this subsection are met if the evidence establishes the following:

(1) That the territory sought to be annexed is contiguous to the municipality.

(2) One (1) of the following:

(A) The resident population density of the territory sought to be annexed is at least three (3) persons per acre.

(B) Sixty percent (60%) of the territory is subdivided.

(C) The territory is zoned for commercial, business, or industrial uses.

(c) The requirements of this subsection are met if the evidence establishes one (1) of the following:

(1) That the territory sought to be annexed is:

(A) contiguous to the municipality as required by section 1.5 of this chapter, except that at least one-fourth ( ¼ ), instead of one-eighth ( ⅛ ), of the aggregate external boundaries of the territory sought to be annexed must coincide with the boundaries of the municipality; and

(B) needed and can be used by the municipality for its development in the reasonably near future.

(2) This subdivision applies only to an annexation for which an annexation ordinance is adopted after December 31, 2016. That the territory sought to be annexed involves an economic development project and the requirements of section 11.4 of this chapter are met.

(d) The requirements of this subsection are met if the evidence establishes that the municipality has developed and adopted a written fiscal plan and has established a definite policy, by resolution of the legislative body as set forth in section 3.1 of this chapter. The fiscal plan must show the following:

(1) The cost estimates of planned services to be furnished to the territory to be annexed. The plan must present itemized estimated costs for each municipal department or agency.

(2) The method or methods of financing the planned services. The plan must explain how specific and detailed expenses will be funded and must indicate the taxes, grants, and other funding to be used.

(3) The plan for the organization and extension of services. The plan must detail the specific services that will be provided and the dates the services will begin.

(4) That planned services of a noncapital nature, including police protection, fire protection, street and road maintenance, and other noncapital services normally provided within the corporate boundaries, will be provided to the annexed territory within one (1) year after the effective date of annexation and that they will be provided in a manner equivalent in standard and scope to those noncapital services provided to areas within the corporate boundaries regardless of similar topography, patterns of land use, and population density.

(5) That services of a capital improvement nature, including street construction, street lighting, sewer facilities, water facilities, and stormwater drainage facilities, will be provided to the annexed territory within three (3) years after the effective date of the annexation in the same manner as those services are provided to areas within the corporate boundaries, regardless of similar topography, patterns of land use, and population density, and in a manner consistent with federal, state, and local laws, procedures, and planning criteria.

(6) This subdivision applies to a fiscal plan prepared after June 30, 2015. The estimated effect of the proposed annexation on taxpayers in each of the political subdivisions to which the proposed annexation applies, including the expected tax rates, tax levies, expenditure levels, service levels, and annual debt service payments in those political subdivisions for four (4) years after the effective date of the annexation.

(7) This subdivision applies to a fiscal plan prepared after June 30, 2015. The estimated effect the proposed annexation will have on municipal finances, specifically how municipal tax revenues will be affected by the annexation for four (4) years after the effective date of the annexation.

Political subdivisions in the county that are not part of the annexation and on taxpayers located in those political subdivisions for four (4) years after the effective date of the annexation.

(9) This subdivision applies to a fiscal plan prepared after June 30, 2015. A list of all parcels of property in the annexation territory and the following information regarding each parcel:

(A) The name of the owner of the parcel.

(B) The parcel identification number.

(C) The most recent assessed value of the parcel.

(D) The existence of a known waiver of the right to remonstrate on the parcel. This clause applies only to a fiscal plan prepared after June 30, 2016.

(e) At the hearing under section 12 of this chapter, the court shall do the following:

(1) Consider evidence on the conditions listed in subdivision (2).

(2) Order a proposed annexation not to take place if the court finds that all of the following conditions that are applicable to the annexation exist in the territory proposed to be annexed:

(A) This clause applies only to an annexation for which an annexation ordinance was adopted before July 1, 2015. The following services are adequately furnished by a provider other than the municipality seeking the annexation:

(i) Police and fire protection.

(ii) Street and road maintenance.

(B) The annexation will have a significant financial impact on the residents or owners of land. The court may not consider:

(i) the personal finances; or

  1. ii) the business finances;

of a resident or owner of land. The personal and business financial records of the residents or owners of land, including state, federal, and local income tax returns, may not be subject to a subpoena or discovery proceedings.

(C) The annexation is not in the best interests of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed as set forth in subsection (f).

(D) This clause applies only to an annexation for which an annexation ordinance is adopted before July 1, 2015. One (1) of the following opposes the annexation:

(i) At least sixty-five percent (65%) of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed.

(ii) The owners of more than seventy-five percent (75%) in assessed valuation of the land in the territory proposed to be annexed.

Evidence of opposition may be expressed by any owner of land in the territory proposed to be annexed.

(E) This clause applies only to an annexation for which an annexation ordinance is adopted after June 30, 2015. One (1) of the following opposes the annexation:

(i) At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed.

proposed to be annexed.

The remonstrance petitions filed with the court under section 11 of this chapter are evidence of the number of owners of land that oppose the annexation, minus any written revocations of remonstrances that are filed with the court under section 11 of this chapter.

(F) This clause applies only to an annexation for which an annexation ordinance is adopted before July 1, 2015. This clause applies only to an annexation in which eighty percent (80%) of the boundary of the territory proposed to be annexed is contiguous to the municipality and the territory consists of not more than one hundred (100) parcels. At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed oppose the annexation as determined under section 11(b) of this chapter.

(f) The municipality under subsection (e)(2)(C) bears the burden of proving that the annexation is in the best interests of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed. In determining this issue, the court may consider whether the municipality has extended sewer or water services to the entire territory to be annexed:

(1) within the three (3) years preceding the date of the introduction of the annexation ordinance; or

(2) under a contract in lieu of annexation entered into under IC 36-4-3-21.

The court may not consider the provision of water services as a result of an order by the Indiana utility regulatory commission to constitute the provision of water services to the territory to be annexed.

(g) The most recent:

(1) federal decennial census;

(2) federal special census;

(3) special tabulation; or

(4) corrected population count;

shall be used as evidence of resident population density for purposes of subsection (b)(2)(A), but this evidence may be rebutted by other evidence of population density.

(h) A municipality that prepares a fiscal plan after June 30, 2015, must comply with this subsection. A municipality may not amend the fiscal plan after the date that a remonstrance is filed with the court under section 11 of this chapter, unless amendment of the fiscal plan is consented to by at least sixty-five percent (65%) of the persons who signed the remonstrance petition.

(i) The municipality must submit proof that the municipality has complied with:

(A) the outreach program requirements and notice requirements of section 1.7 of this chapter; and

(B) the requirements of section 11.1 of this chapter.

Here is a separate section on the requirements for a remonstrance petition.

The statute that has all of these rules (and much more about court appeals, etc) is Ind Code 36-4-3

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